‘World we now live in’: Brokers bemoan 11pm case submissions

The recent rate increases among lenders follow a series of Bank of England base rate rises, jumping from 0.1 per cent to 0.75 per cent since the end of last year.

With lenders trying to remain competitive against the backdrop of these rises, multiple changes are being favoured over bigger step changes.

David Hollingworth, associate director at L&C Mortgages, said the number of changes introduced by lenders had been “substantial” in recent months, and “comes very rapidly”.

He explained: “Lenders will change almost on a weekly basis now. When you look at that across the whole market for brokers, it can mean 10 changes in a day from different lenders.”

While lenders were changing rates a lot last year too, Hollingworth said this was when rates were going down so it wasn’t as imperative for clients. 

“Rates have more than doubled on two and five-year fixes since October, going from 1 to 2 per cent or more,” he said.

“We’d love more notice from lenders and it is very challenging to meet these changes. Since the back-end of last year when rates turned around, rate increases have seemed ever-present.”

‘Advisers’ reputations are at stake'’

For some brokers, the short notice changes leave them feeling frustrated, both because of the stress they can put the client through, and also because of the negative impact it can have on their reputation as professionals.

Imran Hussain, a director at Harmony Financial Services, said: “If a deal is about to be pulled, it can cause intensified stress on our clients. While advisers can take this stress on the chin as part and parcel of the industry, this is a detriment to the client, who is under pressure to make a decision. 

“They may want time to read through the documents, ask us questions, and speak to family members before making a decision.”

And with deals disappearing, Hussain said the only reputation “getting ruined” was the adviser’s, not the lender’s.

“Lenders aren’t helping the reputation of the industry,” said Hussain. “If a client is new to the mortgage market, these deals seem to chop and change all the time. It makes us out to be a bunch of jokers.”

Hussain said “there’s nothing more frustrating” than products being pulled in such a short space of being launched by lenders. He called on lenders to price mortgages right the first time around.

“Lenders should be factoring the Bank of England base rates in. They need to set their stall out and get it right the first time, just as they expect advisers to submit an application with all the correct information the first time round.”